A Short Shabbat Reflection from the Weekly Torah Portion by Rabbi Mark Melamut
*Bissel: (bis-sel) Yiddish. Meaning: “a little.”
“Give me a bissel lox on my bagel,
would you, darling?” A biselleh is even less.
Parshat Tsav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)/Shabbat Hagadol –
Just a Few Questions
As we anticipate our Passover celebration, we can almost smell the matzah ball soup and hear the melody of the four questions being sung, “mah nishtanah halayla hazeh mikol haleilot/why is this night different from all other nights?” Our Passover preparations loom, as we welcome Shabbat Hagadol, the “Big Shabbat” that is a buffer between now and our imminent festival of freedom. While the current torah reading highlights the “aish tamid/the perpetual fire” that remained lit in our ancient sacred space, we begin to reignite our passion for Passover’s themes of liberation, rebirth and renewal. The seder is more than an opportunity to eat well. It creates an engaging experience that taps into our ancient instincts for survival, freedom, being with friends and family, singing, story telling, meaning making, and of course, asking questions. Along these lines, here’s a short list of different questions for this shabbat or for discussion at your seder:
*Why is the Hebrew word for ladybug, Parat Moshe Rabeinu/Moses’ cow?
*What connection, if any, is there between a ladybug and Moses?
*What story do we tell about our lives? Does this story need to be dusted off or perhaps retold in a new way?
*What are the “sea-splitting” miracles of our day to day living?
*How can we make this year better than last?
*Where can we look for courage and strength?
*What are the saltwater (sad) moments of the past year?
*What are the four cups (joyous) moments of the past year
*How can we bring Passover’s message of freedom to those who are currently confined?
Shabbat shalom and Happy Passover,
Rabbi Mark Melamut